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  1. 1. INSIDE Calendar of Events p. 2 l A Rehabilitation Program for Cancer Survivors In Central Texas p. 3 l Join Team CanCare! p. 3 l Texas Oncology Center-Balcones to Utilize CanCare Volunteers p. 3 l What’s New This Quarter? p. 4 l Coming in June: Art Journaling Class p. 4 l Meet the CanCare Staff p. 5 l National Cancer Survivor’s Day p. 5 l Physician’s Corner p. 5 l CanCare Austin Trains New Messengers of Hope p. 6 l Volunteer Spotlight p. 6 l Texans Conquer Cancer p. 6 l Care Receiver Spotlight p. 7 l Board News p. 8 Cancer Support Network News is a quarterly publication produced by CanCare Austin, Inc. For more information call (512) 342-0233 email info@cancareaustin.org or go to www.cancareaustin. org Physical Address: 3710 Cedar St. Box 11 Austin, TX 78705 Cancer Support Network NEWS “Our mission is to improve the quality of life for individuals and families affected by cancer...” Volume II, Issue 2 April 2007 F ocusing on the cancer disparities that exist in Austin, the locally based Lance Arm- strong Foundation (LAF), Cancer Support Network of CanCare Austin (CCA) and St. David’s Commu- nity Health Foundation (SDCHF) recently announced a joint initiative to connect cancer survivors with opportunities to help others facing the disease. Together, the LAF, CCA and SDCHF will identify volunteer op- portunities and train survivors of all diagnoses (including their caregiv- ers, family members and friends) to support people affected by cancer in the Austin community. “Our partnership with St. David’s and CanCare Austin is an excel- lent example of collaboration between the medical community and cancer organizations to provide support to cancer survivors,” said Doug Ulman, president of the LAF and a three-time cancer survivor. “Together, we can make a posi- tive impact on the quality of life of cancer survivors in Austin.” Trainings began in February, and up to nine additional training sessions are scheduled this year to prepare as many as 200 volunteers to provide support to newly diagnosed cancer survivors. After completing the required training, volunteers may choose to be matched to volunteer opportunities in a hospital setting or through CCA’s one-on-one matching program with local cancer survivors and their family members. “We have enormous confidence that with the support of the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the orga- nizational and training support from CanCare Austin, we can help with the sudden and enormous challeng- es faced by people diagnosed with cancer and their families,” said Dick Moeller, CEO of St. David’s Commu- nity Health Foundation. “Tapping the expertise of these two organizations, we can take a huge step forward in making cancer more understandable and only as threatening as it needs to be.” SDCHF will identify volunteer op- portunities in St. David’s Health- care and other area hospitals and establish individualized cancer volunteer programs appropriate to the hospitals’ specific settings. In addition, SDCHF will facilitate the scheduling of hospital trainings, background and health screenings, facility orientations and serve as an ongoing resource to enhance the placement experience. “We think this collaboration is fabu- lous.” said the Rev. Dr. Karen Greif, a breast cancer survivor and co- founder of CanCare Austin. “Cancer survivors will now be able to offer encouragement, strength and hope in a hospital setting, allowing more immediate contact with the newly diagnosed. And the depth of re- sources which LAF provides in this partnership significantly enhances the areas of support we will now be able to offer.” To sign up for a volunteer training class and begin helping cancer survivors in Austin, you can call the CanCare office at (512) 342-0233, or find more information online at www.cancareaustin.org. New Hospital Visitation Program Announced Cristin Cross (Left), Director of Volunteer Services at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center and Charlsa Bentley (Right), CanCare LiveSTRONG’s first SAMC Volunteer.
  2. 2. Cancer Support Network News l Volume II l Issue 2 l April 2007 Featured Events Support Networking The Library The CanCare resource library is available to people with cancer, their families and health care professionals. We have a variety of books, audiotapes, videos and CD’s on vari- ous topics that can be helpful. Calendar of Events ( Event requires advance registration. Please call 512-342-0233 for info and to register. Integrative Options Resources: A Six-Week Series Co-sponsored by The Leukemia Lymphoma Society and the Breast Cancer Resource Center Nutrition Cancer ( Glenn Luepnitz, Phd Saturday, April 14, 10:00am – 12:00pm, held at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center in the 2nd Floor Auditorium Come learn about using nutrition to augment and support one’s cancer treatments during and after cancer recovery. This helps support healthy tissues and overall health of the body on a bio-molecular level. Dr. Glen Luepnitz is a well-known specialist who practices Nutritional Oncology at Lone Star Oncology, in Northwest Austin. Connection of Mind Body ( Paul Keinarth, M.D. Tuesday, April 24, 6:30pm – 8:00pm, held at St. David’s Health Resource Center (Auditorium), 3000 N. IH-35 This presentation will map out the historical evolution of Mind-Body medicine and the associated research in this emerging field of medicine. There will be a discussion of pyscho-neuro-immunology, the pathophysiology of stress, and the physiology of healing. Dr. Keinarth will show participants how to incorporate these concepts into their busy lives while living with cancer, heart disease, or any other chronic condition. Perspectives from Traditional Chinese Medicine ( Gabrielle Mathieu, Licensed Acupuncturist MSOM, MT ASCP Tuesday, May 1, 6:30pm – 8:00pm, held at St. David’s Health Resource Center (Auditorium), 3000 N. IH-35 Whatever your treatment options or stage, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be a helpful and a proven adjunct to minimizing side effects and keeping your body in balance. Acupuncture, Chinese herbal therapy, and diet have all been utilized extensively in China, and now in the U.S., to improve the quality of life and minimize treatment side effects such as nausea and fatigue, lymphedema, and pleural effusion. Introduction to Healing Touch Massage ( Sr. Hannah O’Donoghue, RN, and Peg Schoettlin Tuesday, May 8, 6:30pm – 8:00pm, held at The Seton Cove, 3708 Crawford Come hear Sister Hannah speak about the ways we can cope through the mind, body, and spirit connection. We will also explore exercises that can increase our energy and increase our sense our well being. Massage therapy will be discussed and touch experiences that promote healing and connection will be demonstrated. Exercise Therapies Yoga ( Marion Cimbala and Colleen O’Farrell Tuesday, May 15, 6:30pm – 8:00pm, held at St. David’s Health Resource Center (Auditorium), 3000 N. IH-35 Physical activity has been shown to improve quality of life for cancer survivors during and after treatment. When ap- plied correctly, physical activity and yoga will stimulate the immune system, increase strength, balance and flexibility, reduce cancer related fatigue, and actually reduce the chance of recurrence of some cancers. This presenta- tion will provide basic information about how and when to exercise during the cancer experience. Integral Medicine: Putting It All Together ( Emmett Skiles, M.A. Tuesday, May 22, 6:30pm – 8:00pm, held at St. David’s Health Resource Center (Auditorium), 3000 N. IH-35 This session is intended to present a practical map that will serve as a guide to those on a healing path - not only for cancer, but for anyone concerned with maintaining their health. While sifting through all the options and resources for complementary therapies can be confusing, Emmett will present some helpful tips on how to organize your plan to be sure you can incorporate as many perspectives in your treatment and support strategy as possible. Spiritual Analogies for the Journey of Cancer Karen Greif, DMin Wednesday, June 6, 6:30pm – 8:00pm, St. David’s George- town Cancer Center, 2000 Scenic Dr., GT, 78626 To make sense of the new world that cancer presents for many of us, the search for meaning in the face of a life-threatening illness is not a simple task. Nor is it an easy one. Images and ancient stories will be explored as analogies to the cancer experience. Guided Imagery Class Emmett Skiles Saturday, June 2, 10:30am –12:00pm, held at the AGE Build- ing in the Founders Room Learn the basics of using visualization, or Guided Imagery, as a complement to your treatment therapies. You will be shown how the imagery process works and hear about the latest research that is available. A brief session will be demon- strated with time for sharing your experience with it, and you will receive a free CD to take home with you. Art Journal Class Jeanne Harvey Eliece Edge Saturday, June 23, 10:00am – 5:00pm, held at the AGE Build- ing in the Main Dining Room, 1st Floor You’ll have the opportunity to examine different types of art journals and learn how to quickly paint beautiful backgrounds to enhance your writing. Everything you need will be provided, and you will go home with a supply kit so that you can continue to journal after the class. You will receive instructions to take home, plus an online list of art journaling sites which you can peruse for ideas and inspiration at your leisure. Lunch will be provided. Living with Cancer This support group is for anyone currently experiencing cancer, with any diagnosis. Its purpose is to provide an atmosphere of compassion, exploration, and mutual support. Meets the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of every month, 6:30 – 8:00pm, at St. John’s Methodist Church, 5906 Wynona St. Caregivers Support Group This group is intended for the significant other(s) of the indi- vidual dealing with cancer. It is held at St. John’s Methodist Church at the same time, but in a different room, as the Living with Cancer group (listed above) to make it convenient for all concerned. We will work to provide a safe place to share the concerns and challenges that caregivers face. Life After Cancer Networking Group Survivors finished with treatment meet and share about issues unique to finding the “new normal” as we put our lives back together after cancer, and also about various comple- mentary therapies being explored to maintain hard-won health and well being. Guest speakers hosted regularly. Meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of every month from 7:00 – 9:00pm in Rm. 222 of the AGE Building. Reflecting on Spirituality and Cancer Join others to explore aspects of your spirituality and ways in which it both affects and is affected by the cancer experi- ence. This program is not affiliated with any formal religion. The group meets on the 3rd Saturday of every month, from 10:30am – 12:00pm, in Rm. 222 at the AGE Building. SWRCC Dialogue Group This ongoing support group is held at Southwest Regional Cancer Center for cancer patients with any diagnosis, survi- vors and caregivers. Meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of every month. Contact: Ann Meyer, (512) 421-4167. Relaxation and Reiki Night The practice of Reiki balances and strengthens the functions and health of the physical body, enhances relaxation and self-awareness, and nourishes the spirit. Sign up for a free 45 minute session of Reiki offered on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month, in The Founders Room at the AGE Building, 6:00pm – 8:00pm.
  3. 3. Cancer Support Network News l Volume II l Issue 2 l April 2007 Cancer-related fatigue is one of the most common side effects of chemo- therapy and radiation treatment. The Seton Family of Hospitals has a dedicated team of professionals to help adult cancer patients overcome barriers to care and will link them with much needed services, empowering them to take charge of their health. The program participant will meet with the Cancer Care Team for an initial assessment of their rehabilita- tion plan. Each patient works with, and is carefully evaluated by a Physical Therapist. Individualized treatment programs are created to improve cardiovascular fit- ness, strength, and flexibility. The goal of the program is to improve patients’ rating of quality of life, fatigue levels and endurance by an average of 30%. Some of the other programs offered through this new program are: n Stress Reduction Classes n Yoga n Reiki n Meditation and awareness n Stretching and breathing exercises Enrollment into this program will be offered free of charge to those who face challenges in finding the care they need, which is magnified by physical problems caused by the very treatment that works to save their lives. Referrals to get into the program will be provided through well-established relationships with local community clinics and oncologists as well as from Seton hospitals. Ask your doctor! Patients with a history of stroke, seizure disorder, or with orthopedic limitations that prevent them from performing aerobic exercise might not be eligible to participate. The Seton Cancer Care Team provides case management and holistic support services for patients who are facing the challenge of cancer. They believe that quality cancer care includes care of the whole person. Please contact Seton, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. at phone: (512) 505-5515. ARehabilitation Program for Cancer Survivors In Central Texas W ant to have some fun while participating in the fight against cancer? Then join Team Can- Care as we make our debut at this year’s Westlake Relay For Life. Cancer survivor’s will kick off the event at 7pm on Saturday, April 21st with a “Survivor’s Lap” around the track at Westlake High School. After sundown, luminaries will be lit in memory of those who have lost their battle and in honor of survivors. As the night grows later, there will be live bands, silly contests and other fun activities to keep everyone entertained (and awake!). Relay For Life will end the next morning at 7am with a closing ceremony and final “Victory Lap” for all participants. Our goal is to have one member of Team CanCare on the track at all times but we invite you to join us for any portion of the event. To sign up or to sponsor a walker, go to www.acsevents.org/westlaketx/cancare. For more information, contact Bran- don or Connie at 342-0233. Join Team CanCare! Texas Oncology Center-Balcones to Utilize CanCare Volunteers C anCare Austin has recently partnered with the American Cancer Society, Breast Cancer Resource Center, and Texas Oncol- ogy to provide emotional support for those undergoing cancer treatments at the Balcones location of Texas Oncology. Our volunteers are specifically needed to assist in two-hour shifts, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays. Volunteers at Texas Oncology can choose from a variety of tasks which include: staff- ing the infusion room “care cart” which provides snacks, magazines, and blankets to patients as they receive chemotherapy, visiting with patients, especially those who have no family or friends accompanying them, and assisting with the return of support-related phone calls. If you are available to work a shift on Mondays or Tuesdays, starting in late April, please email Brandon at brandon@cancareaustin.org. This is yet another great service opportunity for our volunteers, and we would love if you would be able to join us in this venture. Other Community Events Qi Gong Class - free A movement class that meets every Thursday, 3:00 – 4:00pm, Located at the ITT Building 6330 East Hwy 290, Ste. 315. Contact Seton Cancer Care Team: (512) 505-5515 Move Through Cancer A 12-week fitness and educational program for those with cancer and survivors - all ages, all fitness levels. Classes in- clude walking/jogging, yoga, balance, and gentle movement. Meeting times/locations throughout Austin and Williamson County. Call (512) 476-6789. New classes begin April 28th. In Georgetown, new times and dates to be announced soon. Nia Class - free NIA is an expressive movement / dance class for women recovering from serious illness. Move at your own level of fitness, growing into greater mobility, vitality, endurance, strength, flexibility, agility, and relaxation. Breast Cancer Resource Center Contact Dianna Petrick at (512) 472-1738 x101 Yoga Class - free Tuesday afternoons from 2:00 – 3:00pm, at South Austin Can- cer Center; Contact: Emily Pearcy LMSW, (512) 912-2776. Free ongoing, gentle yoga classes for patients, survivors, and caregivers. How Food Affects Your Health Emotions - free 2nd Wed. of every Month, 7:00pm – 9:00pm Macrobiotics, known worldwide for its use in supporting the healing process while treating cancer is a holistic way of look- ing at the foods you eat, your life, health, and emotions. Learn about: Acid/Alkaline Balance, Healing and Harmful Foods, Increasing Awareness, Creating a Lifetime of Health and Vitality, and how to make it simple. Free cooking demonstra- tion offered from 6:00pm – 7:00pm before class starts. The Natural Epicurean 1701 Toomey Rd. Austin, TX 78704 Phone: (512) 476-2276.
  4. 4. Cancer Support Network News l Volume II l Issue 2 l April 2007 It’s been a busy year for us already and we are excited about all the new programs that are brewing here in the con- tinually growing cancer support network that CanCare Austin has become. In our new partnership with St. David’s hospitals and the LiveStrong program, we will be able to reach many more people dealing with cancer. We are also seeking new and creative ways to partner with Seton, Texas Oncology, Southwest Regional Cancer Centers, Austin Cancer Centers, and the new Dell Children’s Medical Center to be able to bring our volunteers into those facilities as well to provide the many benefits of peer-to- peer support. Additionally, we are putting together educational classes that What’s New This Quarter? by Emmett Skiles, MA, Program Director will provide information to those who may be seeking more ways to help themselves cope with the many issues that cancer presents. One of the things that always inspires me in my work with those who face these challenges is the power of the human spirit, and the ability of some people to leave no stone unturned as they seek out resources that will bring them back to good health. With that in mind, we have created a six- week series of classes called the Integrative Options Resources Series (please see the Calendar of Events on page 2 for details). It has been designed to provide practical tools and information to be used by anyone whose life has been affected by cancer. Many of the topics involve supportive therapies that have proven to ease certain difficulties associated with cancer treatments. This six week series of classes will begin on April 14, as Dr. Glenn Luepnitz shares his insights into using nutrition to aggressively treat the overall health of the body on a bio-molecular level. Dr. Luepnitz is a well known nutritional specialist with Lone Star Oncologyin Austin whose name frequently comes up in our cancer support groups, and his classes are always very popular and well-attended. The presentations in the remaining classes will help participants learn more about how exercise, yoga, various relaxation techniques, acupuncture, herbs, healing touch and massage can all play a part in a comprehensive approach to supporting a person dealing with cancer. In a recent survey taken at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the results showed that 83 percent of patients with various cancer diagnoses acknowledged their use of at least one complementary therapy. Based on my own experi- ence in this field and conversations I have had with hundreds of people dealing with cancer about this subject, I see a tremendous grow- ing consumer demand for these services. And of course this trend extends out to include all of us, and not just those dealing with cancer. It serves as a reminder of the need for quality and reliable information which is crucial for ensuring a truly holistic model of healthcare that can be offered to everyone. We realize that often these ap- proaches can be controversial as to their claims, and it is impor- tant that we seek out the most qualified individuals who have had rigorous training and experience in evidence-based practice. The choices can seem overwhelm- ing to someone just beginning to explore complementary therapies. I would like to encourage you to take advantage of these opportuni- ties to learn from professionals in our community who are providing these services specifically to those dealing with cancer. All of the classes in the Integrative Options Resources Series are open to anyone who feels they would benefit from the information, and will be available at no cost. W ould you like to spend a relaxing day learning some techniques that can help you rediscover your creative side? We were all born with this part of our natures intact, and drew and painted with abandon as small children. Unfortunately, most of us lost this joyful freedom of expres- sion as we grew into adulthood. Many people have found how helpful it is to journal, while others know that art can be very therapeutic. In this class, you will be guided to combine the two in a non-threatening and fun way. Absolutely no previous experience in either discipline is necessary. If you’ve completed the first grade, you’ve got all the skills you’ll need! We will talk about different types of journals and you will receive a list of prompts that you can use for the times when your mind goes blank. Often these prompts will be the cue to experiences and images that you had completely forgotten. How magical it is to revisit childhood, to remember old feelings, to shed light on fuzzy thoughts; and to record it all in a way that will be a pleasure to you. Not only will your journals help you discover pat- terns, but may clarify events, problems, and options. And if you choose to share your journals with others, you will give them a priceless gift. Can you even imagine what it would be like to discover a journal written by your great grandmother? You’ll have the opportunity to examine different types of art journals and learn how to quickly Coming in June: Art Journaling Class paint beautiful backgrounds to enhance your writing. Everything you need will be provided, and you will go home with a supply kit so that you can continue to journal after the class. In addi- tion, you will receive handouts to help you remember the tech- niques, plus an online list of art journaling sites which you can peruse for ideas and inspiration at your leisure. Join us on June 23, from 10:00am until 5:00pm (lunch included) for a stress-free day of fun and learning. You will be amazed to discover just how expressive you can be, and that your creativity has tremendous healing power. To register, call 342-0233.
  5. 5. Cancer Support Network News l Volume II l Issue 2 l April 2007 The latest addition to our staff is Brandon Wollerson, our new Volunteer Coordinator. He received his master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Texas and did internships with local AIDS service organiza- tions, The Care Communities and Doug’s House. He has been affected by cancer due to his father’s recent cancer diagnosis. Connie McFarland joined the CanCare family in the fall of 2006, and is our Administrative Assistant. She is a stage III colon cancer survivor and one of CanCare Austin’s first care receivers. After her recovery, she became a volunteer herself, in August 2006. Emmett Skiles, Program Director, joined CanCare in January of 2006. Bill Karen Greif, co-founded CanCare Austin in 2004. Meet the CanCare Staff From left to right: Front row: Karen Greif, Connie McFarland, Back row: Emmett Skiles, Bill Greif, and Brandon Wollerson. National Cancer Survivors Day is June 3, 2007 W e are preparing now for CanCare’s participation in an annual event called Celebration of Life, in honor of National Cancer Survivor’s Day. This will be the 20th anniversary for Celebration of Life on the national level. It is a victorious milestone for cancer survivors. It’s the day each year that we pause to honor people all over the world who are living with a history of cancer –including America’s 10.5 million cancer survivors. It is also a day to acknowledge the contributions of their families, friends and healthcare providers. Here in Central Texas, the annual Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, June 3, at Quarries Park – 11600 N. Mopac Expwy. (near Breaker Ln.), and will start at 12:00 noon.  The day will include a wellness fair where attendees will be able to gather information about the services that many of the Austin- area cancer organizations offer. As a part of the day of celebration, there will be a variety of family-friendly activities along with a Service of Remembrance and Hope which will afford everyone the opportunity to remember those who have died as well as those who are cancer survivors through reflection, song, poetry, dance and prayer. The participants will have an opportunity to remem- ber loved ones, friends, coworkers, and others. This was a great event last year and we would encourage anyone whose life has been touched by cancer to come out and join us. For more details about the day’s events, contact Emmett Skiles at 342-0233, or e-mail him at emmett@cancareaustin.org. “No, it’s not Mother.” “Yes it is. I think it is. You can believe what you want.” At 87 she was entitled to her opinion. “Mother, cancer is not evil. Clearly, we don’t think of it as ‘goodness’, but it is not evil, whatever that is.” I said. It was time to get a foothold, her for her reasons, me for mine. My dad was dying from lung cancer or had just died when we had that conversation. As I try to recall it now it seems blurry. However, I do remember that because of cancer growth near his voice box that he could only whisper. With a hearing aid in each of my mother’s ears one can only imagine the comedy and tragedy of their last days together after well over 50 years of marriage. Though comical at times, it was mostly frustrating and frightening. At such times it can be easy to ascribe characteristics that simply don’t exist to the origins of our fears. At about that same period of time I had a similar conversation with a neurosurgeon friend of mine. “Mark, of all the tumors I know of, glioblastoma multiforme of the brain is the closest thing to ‘evil incarnate’ that I know,” said Brian O’Grady, MD as he used his fingers to supply the quotation marks. He said this euphemistically and without conviction but with expert understanding of the destructive capabilities of that tumor. We discussed this as we looked at MRI images of my recently diagnosed partner Bill Hart, MD. Two of the finest men I ever knew died within three and a half weeks of each other, each due to a deadly type of cancer that rarely allows for a survivor - certainly aggressive biology but not evil. In human biology, cancers are a type of neoplasm. From a textbook here in the office, neoplasm is defined by Ewing as “autonomous new growth.” Physician’s Corner By Mark R Sherrod, MD, General Surgeon Though most cells of the body are capable of proliferation, this potential is held in check so that growth occurs at an appropriate rate specific for a purpose; e.g. cell replacement after normal loss as with the lining of intestines. This growth can be dramatically augmented when necessary. Most people have seen this as they watch a minor (or major) wound heal after injury. As the wound heals and skin cells from one side meet the skin cells from the other side, somehow, the rapidly proliferating cells come under control and one layer of skin is realized instead of a pileup. Another wonderful example is regeneration of liver tissue after surgical removal of an entire lobe. This is rapid orderly growth even to microscopic detail, but somehow this gets halted at a specific time or event. Though much has been learned of the phases of the cell cycle, the orderly control of cell growth is still largely unknown. Importantly, it is the loss of control of growth that is the hallmark of cancer. This autono- mous growth has four very general characteristics: 1) It is excessive and uncoordinated with the rest of the body. 2) There is no definite limit to the growth. 3) The growth is of no use to the body and instead is usually injurious or fatal. 4) The growth is usually more rapid than normal. Obviously, these characteristics are receiving great scrutiny and investiga- tion today. Most of the time our advances are small, but once in a while a huge step forward occurs. When I was a resident in the late 1970s testicu- lar cancer was fatal for most men with the disease beyond its early stages. By about 1981 with the advent of cisplatinum even advanced disease was routinely cured. The best example of this is Lance Armstrong. With this bit of information about cancer and the telling of these three patient examples a couple of things are illustrated. Though cancer can be deadly, fast-growing, and unexpected, it should not be considered ‘evil’ or ‘mysterious’. Cancer is a biological occurrence for which scientific strides are made everyday to create and improve treatments and screening methods. What was once con- sidered long odds and little hope may someday become rare and easily treated.
  6. 6. Cancer Support Network News l Volume II l Issue 2 l April 2007 B efore joining the staff as the new Volunteer Coordinator, I had the opportunity to be one of the sixteen trainees in CanCare Austin’s February volunteer training class #9. We have now trained 118 messengers of hope, and these new additions add to the growing list of di- agnoses and experiences that enhance our ability to reach those impacted by a cancer diagnosis. As CanCare continues to grow, we are finding new and exciting ways for our volunteers to connect and serve. As many of you know, our recent partnership with St. David’s Community Health Foundation and the Lance Armstrong Foundation allows us to reach those receiving cancer treatments in numerous St. David’s hospitals in the Austin area. We are also working closely with Texas Oncology to allow our volunteers to assist Texas Oncol- ogy patients as they await and undergo treatment. In addition to serving as one-on-one matches and visitors in hospitals and oncology centers, CanCare volunteers are needed to help around the office with administra- tive tasks such as mailings and website maintenance. And as we continue to connect in new ways to the Austin community, we have a growing need for volunteers to assist at a variety of community health fairs. I especially welcome thoughts and suggestions for how to enhance our presentation at these types of events. By the time of this publication, 13 volunteers will have participated in our March training. Please spread the word to those in the community whom you know may be interested in taking part in our next training class, scheduled for May 4-5, 2007. In the meanwhile, I look forward to getting to know each of you as I begin my time with CanCare. Please call me at 512-342-0233 or email me at brandon@cancareaustin.org if you need anything or have new ideas for ways to spread CanCare’s message of hope to the community. CanCare Austin Trains New Messengers of Hope by Brandon Wollerson, LMSW CanCare’s February Training Class # 9 Back Row (l to r): Brandon Wollerson, Nancy Beckham, Christina Falise, Chad Cardani, Amber Wadey, Helen Knost, Deanna Cochran, Jeannie Diamond, Elizabeth Erwin, Charlsa Bentley, Jaye Joseph.Front Row(l to r): Estela Southard, Mary Ellen Plaku, Mimi El-messidi, Mendy Pena, Janice Carpenter. T he Texans Conquer Cancer specialty license plate benefits nonprofit organizations that provide services to Texas cancer patients needing assistance during their cancer fight. The funds are administered by the Texas Cancer Council, a state agency, and will help cancer patients, their families, and caregivers cope as best they can with the effects of this disease on daily life. The costs for these plates are $30.00 per year (with the number assigned by TxDOT). For personalized plates, it is $70.00 per year. Go to: www.texansconquercancer.org Texans Conquer Cancer D on’t Lose Heart! Sometimes it feels like being a third-stringer stuck on the bench. You come out of your volunteer training class, eagerly waiting to be matched with someone so that you can help them. And you wait. And you wait. You start to wonder whether the coach is ever going to motion you to join the team. Other volunteers have been matched— when will it be your turn? But no one has yet called in who has the same cancer you had. “Maybe I should have volunteered for some other organization,” you think. Don’t lose heart, faithful volunteer! It may take a while, but your time will come. It did for me. I was in the third training class, but I didn’t get matched with anyone until this past summer. What did I do while I was waiting? I lent a hand any way I could on the administrative side of the Cancer Support Network. There is always plenty to do: updating databases, preparing newsletters for mail- ing, manning an information booth at a conference…the list goes on. As for me, I am once again on the bench. My match, Rachel, fought her late-stage cervical cancer valiantly to the very end and I can only hope that I came through for her when she needed me. I know it may be a while before I am matched again, but that’s okay. In the meantime, I’ll do what I can to support other volunteers as they help their matches score a victory over cancer. —Jennifer Voigt, CanCare volunteer Volunteer Spotlight CanCare volunteer training is done in collaboration with:
  7. 7. Cancer Support Network News l Volume II l Issue 2 l April 2007 We would like to thank Ginny’s Printing for graciously donating the expense of printing this newsletter to CanCare Austin. Their generous assistance will allow us to continue to share our mission of hope and inspi- ration through this publication. We would also like to thank OnRamp Access for donating their webhosting services for our website. Thanks to Our Supporters It is an overwhelming feeling when given the news of any catastrophic illness. I discovered that I wasn’t alone in my journey to survive cancer as several of my unsuspecting colleagues revealed their similar experiences with me. In my work in the field of teaching, we tend to care for everyone else around us first. I learned that it was okay to let others help me and my family deal with my diagnosis. That’s when the wonderful family of one of my students led me to Karen Greif of CanCare Austin. During our first contact, she was so understanding. She showed that she could relate to my situation. She could tell that I was exhausted from my recent surgery and assured me she would call back to check on me. When she did call back, it was very comforting to talk with her again as I had many questions and concerns. She even told me that she could match me with a survivor who would be calling me on a more ongoing basis. That person was Tracy Rawls, and she has turned out to be a real blessing in my life. She would call, invite me to lunch, and send cards when I least expected it and needed it the most. She is an amazing person who is genuine, has a wonderful spirit, and celebrates life! Because of Tracy, I realize what survivorship means and how to embrace each day that I share with so many! My experience with CanCare goes beyond a match with one person. I have met amazing people who are a part of CanCare, who have shared their stories with me and given me many insights into the gifts of caregiving. Care Receiver Spotlight —Estela Southard, Care Receiver r I would like to be contacted about becoming a CanCare volunteer. To Donate: r I would like to contribute $_______ to the mission of CanCare My gift is in r  Memory r  Honor of: __________________________ Please notify: Name Address City State Zip Additional ways to give: r I have enclosed my company’s matching form r I would like information on how to include CanCare in my will or estate planning Please make check payable to: CanCare Austin PO Box 29871, Austin, TX 78731 CanCare is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. All gifts are tax deductible and are gratefully accepted. If you would like to volunteer your time and talents, or make a donation, please complete the form below and return it by mail in the envelope provided in this newsletter. CanCare To Help continue its mission Name Phone Address City State Zip
  8. 8. PO Box 29871 Austin, TX 78731 512.342.0233 www.cancareaustin.org RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED DATED MATERIAL Board of Directors n Rev. Karen Greif Co-founder, Board Chair n Bill Greif, M.A. Co-founder, Board Vice-Chair n Cindy Manning, R.N. n Patti Simmons n Laura Davidson-Albachten n Emmett Skiles, M.A. n Denise Edmiston, LCSW Meet One of Our Board Members NONPROFIT ORG US POSTAGE PAID AUSTIN TX PERMIT NO. PI 934 As Assistant Vice President of Foundation Relations at the Texas Methodist Foundation, Patti Sim- mons brings many years of experi- ence in public relations, marketing, grant writing, and fund raising to her work on CanCare Austin’s Board of Directors. She is one of the founding members of the board, organized in January 2005. Patti received her master’s degree in English from Baylor University. Following graduation, she was a research writer and editor at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio followed by a public relations and marketing communi- cations specialist at Datapoint, a San Antonio computer company. In addition, she taught composition and literature classes at San Antonio College and St. Philip’s College. After relocating to Austin, she continued teaching at Austin Com- munity College and eventually ac- cepted a position as Vice President of Marketing Communications at SchoolVision, Inc., an educational technology company and Apple Computer reseller. When Apple discontinued their reseller program, she left SchoolVision to work for the Texas Methodist Foundation. “Apple Computer was a creative, innovative company to partner with on marketing and branding in the education market, but the mis- sion-focused nonprofit work at the Foundation has been enormously rewarding. The opportunity to use my communication skills to support the valuable work of CanCare just deepens that satisfaction.” As a caregiver during her mother’s experience with breast cancer, Patti understands the vital need for a community of safety, trust, and mutual experience for cancer patients and caregivers. “Cancer prompts feelings of isolation, vulnerability and fear, not only in cancer patients, but in their friends and families – their very support systems. When Kathryn McNeely introduced me to CanCare, I was impressed that the organization reached out to extended families, offering crucial help to caregivers while strengthening the support system for patients and survivors. I think the idea that a “commu- nity” is greater than the sum of its individuals is true in the case of the cancer community – enlarging the circle of care generates more hope and compassion and increases the likelihood of positive growth for all.” Patti’s contribution to CanCare has been primarily in the area of grant writing. She has two grown daugh- ters and a two-year-old grand- daughter. She is an avid reader and writer and enjoys teaching English courses at ACC when time allows.